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Senate Minority Leader OK After Minor Stroke

Times Staff Writer

Harry Reid, the Senate’s top Democrat, suffered what a colleague called a “mini stroke,” but his office reported Friday that he had experienced no complications and was feeling fine.

“Sen. Reid feels fine,” his office said in a terse statement. “There are no complications or any restrictions on his activities.”

An e-mail sent by Reid’s office to his Senate colleagues said the 65-year-old minority leader was “in good spirits and on his feet.” Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said Friday night that he had spoken with Reid, “and he’s feeling fine, showing the same strength of spirit that’s driven him throughout his career.”

After complaining of “lightheadedness” on Tuesday, Reid was driven from his home in Searchlight, Nev., to a Las Vegas hospital for tests, his office said.

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A Reid aide said the senator suffered a “transient ischemic attack,” which the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke said occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly interrupted. The American Stroke Assn. calls transient ischemic attacks “minor or warning strokes.”

About one-third of those who have a transient ischemic attack will have an acute stroke some time in the future, according to the institute.

A Reid aide said Friday night that the senator, who was at his home, had no difficulty speaking or moving and that there were no limits on his activity, but his doctors recommended that he “take advantage of the summer congressional recess for some down time.” The Senate reconvenes Sept. 6.

The attack comes as Reid and Democratic colleagues prepare for potentially difficult September confirmation hearings on President Bush’s nomination of appeals court Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to the Supreme Court.

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Reid, who was tapped by his Democratic colleagues in November to be minority leader, has been a leader in party efforts to try to win back control of the Senate. He has worked to challenge a number of Bush initiatives, including the proposal to overhaul Social Security.

A miner’s son, Reid served two terms in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 1986.


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